Newcastle could be set to demand £10m for Mikel Merino this summer according to Bilbao-based publication ‘Deia’ – a fee that doesn’t seem nearly enough for a player of his age and potential.
Despite a stunning start to life at Newcastle, a back injury and a subsequent loss in form and game time have led to a particularly frustrating 2018 for Merino – seeing him linked with a move back to Spain more than he’s seen minutes on the pitch.
Athletic Bilbao have been regularly linked and look all set to up their attempts to sign the Spaniard over the coming months – with him believed to be someone they narrowly missed out on before we signed him last summer.
According to Deia, Mike Ashley has been “playing tricks” in a bid to receive the highest fee possible for the 21-year-old, although that doesn’t really add up if he’s to demand just £10m for a player we signed for £8m just last year.
Interestingly, the Chronicle have had the following to say about his current situation at the club – admitting that he has been left ‘disheartened’ and weighing up his options after a frustrating 2018:
“Benitez would like to keep Merino on Tyneside as he still believes the midfielder can be a success in England, but the player himself is weighing up his options.
“He has cut a frustrated figure at times over the last few months at Newcastle’s Benton Training Centre and also on matchdays, with one source describing Merino as being “disheartened” by his lack of first-team action.
“The Spain Under-21 international’s representatives have been exploring the possibility of a summer exit, with Real Betis among the clubs interested – though the San Mames Stadium (Bilbao) is Merino’s most-likely destination, should he depart.”
Considering he sounded quite upbeat ahead of the new season in a recent interview with the club’s official site, there’s got to be something in all of this that doesn’t add up.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did leave this summer – however I really can’t see us holding out for just £10m.
Should we decide to cash in, what do you feel he’s worth in this day and age?